These are difficult days to digest. The fault of the intense effort and the need to surpass oneself without seeing the expected result. After three stages in Hungary and a day dedicated to the long transfer to Sicily, this 4th stage between Avola and Etna was particularly demanding.
Rochas and Villella tried
However, the first part of the plan determined at the briefing had been successful. "We wanted to put one or more representatives in the breakaway, especially since they had a chance to go all the way," said Gorka Gerrikagoitia, one of the team managers. So, while the attacks multiplied at the beginning of the stage, Rémy Rochas and Davide Villella managed to get into the breakaway with about 15 riders. They had a lead of almost 12 minutes before the peloton increased the pace.
At the foot of Mount Etna, everything had to be done again. Valiant, Rémy and Davide did not manage to follow the tempo. Alongside the leaders, Guillaume Martin did not manage to keep up the pace either. At the finish line, the Norman crossed the line in 30th place, 4 min 08 sec behind the winner of the day, Lennard Kamna.
Now 29th in the overall classification, 4 min 06 sec behind the pink jersey, he will have to find some energy and determination to try to shine in the coming days. Tomorrow, between Catania and Messina, there will be a difficulty, the Portella Mandrazzi, but it is located about 100 kilometers from the finish. The sprinters who will have resisted will be able to explain themselves for the second time in this Giro, a new opportunity for Simone Consonni to shine.
Guillaume Martin: "It was obviously a difficult day. I'm disappointed with my performance, disappointed to have lost a lot of time on this summit finish. In the end, there weren't as many attacks with the group of about 20 riders in front. I should have been with them. There is disappointment but I am not downhearted either, the road to the Giro is still long with a lot of things to do if the feeling comes back. I was a bit apprehensive about this stage after the rest day. This dry climb is not the type of effort that suits me best. I hope the feeling will be better with the fatigue that will come and the harder stages that will take place. I will try to make a good end of the first week and we will make a first assessment at the rest day."
Gorka Gerrikagoitia, Sports Director: "The idea at the briefing was to put riders in the breakaway and get into the battle for victory. Rémy and Davide went there with the will to go all the way but we didn't have the legs to play for victory. We were hoping for a little more from Guillaume. But that's part of the race, it's only the first stage. This Giro is still long, we have to race day by day, without adding extra stress."